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I was sadden by the reported cases of parents being hurt by their children over the past few months. According to Dr Huang Wei Jen, a clinical psychologist and a.k.a Dr Love, people tend to show their worst in intimate relationships.

He observes that "You make me sad and I must make you angry" is a common phenomenon among couples, spouses and parent to child relationships. It is not surprising as people who know us well hurt us the most as they have a good grasp of our emotional trigger buttons - what and when to say things that stir up emotions.

As parents, we cannot assume our children know how to be filial and show respect, manage their emotions and resolve conflicts, which are inevitable in life, in an appropriate manner by default.

Love and filiality need to be taught. We must show them the way. Not all of us, including myself, are good at managing emotions and resolving conflicts. However, there are many researches that lead to developed techniques and abundant self-improvement resources available to help us.

Nevertheless, it is not about knowing the latest findings and techniques that makes us better parents. It is through practising and demonstrating the traits and behaviours that we want our children to develop that are far more crucial. 

I would like to suggest treating our loved ones and people around us with more love, respect and empathy. At home, let's practise even more, especially to their grandparents as our children are watching closely at how we treat them. 

I am not expecting my children to reciprocate when they grow up.
However, I am certain that teaching them these values will go a long way in shaping their lives and elevating these ideals beyond academic and financial success.

This article was first published in MyPaper on 6 Oct 2016.

Tags: Family Bonding /3 Generation Family /Child Development